After 5 years in jail, Cuba has released Alan Gross. His release was part of a prisoner exchange between Cuba and the U.S.
AP reports that this is part of normalizing full diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, and the US will open an embassy in Havana in a few months.
Alan Phillip Gross is a U.S. international development professional.
In December 2009 he was arrested while in Cuba working as a U.S. government subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of a program funded under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act.
He was prosecuted in 2011 after being accused of crimes against the Cuban state for bringing satellite phones and computer equipment (to members of Cuba’s Jewish community) without the permit required under Cuban law.
After being accused of working for American intelligence services in January 2010, he was ultimately convicted for “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state” in March 2011. He was released from Cuban prison on December 17, 2014.